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Learning Center.

Welcome to the Mentor Learning Center

February Class of 2018

Normalizing Academic Challenges, Deep-Dive Participation/Performance Check-In and Accessing Support

It is worth restating our belief that when pairs stay together after high school, mentees have an even stronger chance of starting and persisting in an alternative pathway.  During your monthly meeting, use the prompts below to focus on participation, performance, and other potential persistence challenges. By doing so, we believe you will continue to strengthen your mentoring relationship while identifying ways to be proactive and use program managers and mentors to support student success.

Discussion Topic #1 -  Normalizing Challenges

With the start of a new semester/term students may be experiencing new challenges. Whether it is a new class, task, and/or work schedule, you most likely will struggle. To help normalize struggles and allow students to reflect, mentors will take the lead and share their academic successes and challenges during their first year in college. By sharing lessons learned, mentors can help students avoid pitfalls and be proactive about addressing challenges. 

Mentorstake the lead by sharing your experiences with academics during your first year of college. Share your responses to the prompts below:

  1. What were your most challenging classes and why?
  2. How did you address those challenges?
  3. If you could re-take those courses, what would you do differently?
  4. Did you take advantage of support on campus? Why or Why not?
  5. We sometimes need reminders about advice or tips. What advice would you give your mentee to help them be successful academically?

Mentees: share any reflections you have about what your mentor shared. Although you may not be enrolled in college, there may be ways of addressing challenges that can apply to your situation as well. Ask your mentor questions specific to your existing or potential challenges with your program or employer. Transition to the next topic by preparing to talk through your performance and progress so far. 

Discussion Topic #2 - Academics Deep Dive

Mentees: take the lead by talking through your course schedule, class by class, sharing how you are feeling about each class. Next, use the prompts below to discuss how you will best prepare (and access people and resources) to perform at your best this semester.

  1. What is your most challenging class (or classes)? 
  2. Have you started to address these challenges?
  3. Do you feel that you have successfully engaged in a growth mindset when thinking about these challenges?
  4. What about mid-terms for each class? How are you feeling about these exams?
  5. How are you preparing for mid-terms? How can you practice better time management to ensure you are successful?
  6. What are some of your achievements so far this semester? How can you capitalize on your strengths to perform even better academically this semester?

As you discuss, think back to last month's discussion about accessing resources and revisit these important topics: 

Finally, how can your mentor support you to be successful this semester?

Mentors:  close the discussion by reflecting on what has been shared. Share any additional suggestions for support and next steps. Remember to update your program manager and share any immediate support needs. 

Discussion Topic #3 -  Identifying Challenges, Accessing Support

Accessing support is critical to student success. Use the prompts below to discuss any support needs. Remember to utilize the program/company website to research and identify potential sources of support. Don't forget that your Program Manager can help as well!

Mentors: use the prompts below to guide this discussion.

  1. Has anything changed in your personal life that would affect your attendance / performance once on campus? (Housing, transportation, dependent care, etc.). What type of support would be helpful?
  2. Have you met with with your academic advisor?
  3. Have you reviewed your syllabi and attended office hours for all of your classes?
  4. Are you enrolling in any support or opportunity programs on campus?
  5. Have you visited student support services offices on campus (tutoring, writing center, etc.)?
  6. Have you secured resources to help pay for books, transportation, food, etc?
  7. Do you need to explore scholarships or other forms of financial assistance (including iMentor Emergency Fund)?



Close the discussion by working together to make a list of follow-up items for your next check-in. Remember to reach out directly to your Program Manager for support and to share any important updates.